POLISH-BORN WLADYSLAW T. BENDA (1873–1948) created eye-catching cover art and illustrations for short stories and essays in leading magazines during America's golden age of illustration (1870–1930). Benda depicts two timeless figures that frame and contemplate his imagined vista of the Earth and Moon suspended on the edge of the Milky Way. Light from the lower right throws the landmasses of North America, Europe, and Africa into bold relief, accentuates the Earth's majestic beauty, and illuminates a vision of Earth within its galactic context.

Wladyslaw T. Benda. The Earth with the Milky Way and Moon. Charcoal on paper, ca. 1918. Published in ”The Future of the Earth” by Maurice Maeterlinck, Cosmopolitan, March 1918. Cabinet of American Illustration. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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